Jan 27, 2023
Bankman-Fried Sought to Influence Witness, Prosecutors Say
(Bloomberg) -- FTX co-founder Samuel Bankman-Fried sought to influence a witness in the US government’s criminal fraud case against him, prosecutors said in a filing, asking a judge to stop him from contacting former employees at the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange.
The government also requested an order from the judge prohibiting Bankman-Fried from using any encrypted messaging applications, such as Signal.
Bankman-Fried used Signal and email to contact the current general counsel of FTX — described as Witness-1 — saying he’d “love to reconnect and see if there’s a way for us to have a constructive relationship,” prosecutors said in the filing Friday.
“Bankman-Fried’s use of Signal here is consistent with a history of using the application for obstructive purposes,” prosecutors said. “This is particularly concerning given that the defendant is aware that Witness-1 has information that would tend to inculpate the defendant.”
Bankman-Fried, 30, was charged with orchestrating a yearslong fraud in which he used billions of dollars of FTX customer funds for personal expenses and high-risk bets through the exchange’s sister trading house, Alameda Research. He was released on a $250 million bail package.
The case is US v. Bankman-Fried, 22-cr-673, US District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
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